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Ghosts were a phenomenon of mythology and popular culture regarded throughout the universe. Though they were a source of scepticism, those who believed in ghosts sometimes held them to be souls that could not find rest after death, and so lingered on in the world of the living. This inability to find rest was often explained as unfinished business.

Ghosts could also be referred to as phantoms (AUDIO: The Genocide Machine), spirits (AUDIO: The Spirit Trap) or wraiths. (TV: Hell Bent) In the area around Fetchborough, a ghost was sometimes referred to as a fetch. (TV: Image of the Fendahl) A location which was known for ghost sightings was referred to as haunted. (AUDIO: The House of the Dead)

Common attributes Edit

In the mythological sense, ghosts were understood to be see-through beings, which only came out at night and had the ability to walk through walls. (TV: Under the Lake) When removed from a living individual, souls could manifest as ghosts. (TV: From Out of the Rain) In some cases, if ghosts completed their unfinished business, they were able to move on. (TV: Random Shoes)

Types of ghost Edit

In folklore, there were various types, the names of which could be synonymous with the term ghost. Poltergeists, of German origin, were able to move objects. (AUDIO: Winter for the Adept) Banshees, of Irish origin, were omens of death. (PROSE: Screamager)

Manifestations of spirits Edit

Unexplained manifestations Edit

In 1903, after receiving a wealth of information from the future, Grigori Rasputin saw ghosts. (AUDIO: The Wanderer)

Sergeant Benton once confronted spectres, the tortured souls of his military father and child brother, who had both tragically lost their lives, holding him in contempt, to the grave and beyond. Now facing up to his traumatic past, Benton was lost in a psychotic fantasy world, a sadistic game devised by his forebearer and sibling to teach him a lesson. Finally set free, he was at last able to get back to his post where he was desperately needed. (HOMEVID: Wartime)

Graham Stevens claimed that the ghost of a headless woman in white with a black dog used to walk through his bedroom at midnight. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark)

A Cardiff building was haunted by three cowled men with scythes. It was unknown what these things actually were, but they were considered ghosts. Toshiko Sato and Ianto Jones were sent by Torchwood Three to kill them. They appeared in front of them, and were shot dead, revealed as just "shadows" cast by the Rift. (TV: Exit Wounds)

Individual ghosts Edit

Allan Ramsay Edit
Main article: Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay was a member of an expedition to Antarctica in 1903. After his death, his ghost took other members of the expedition. (PROSE: Mirth, or Walking Spirits)

Eugene Jones Edit
Main article: Eugene Jones

Eugene Jones could interact with Gwen Cooper of Torchwood Three for a time after his death as a de facto ghost. He briefly became visible to not only Cooper, but to everyone, before "crossing over" and ceasing to be a ghost. This was due to his consumption of a Dogon Sixth Eye beforehand, granting him a new perspective on life. He would eventually unlock the secret to true peace and happiness, allowing him to let go. (TV: Random Shoes)

Cloister Wraiths Edit

Cloister Wraith

A Cloister Wraith guarding the Matrix. (TV: Hell Bent)

Main article: Cloister Wraith

The Cloister Wraiths were creatures found in the Cloisters, a crypt beneath the Capitol of Gallifrey which provided access to the Matrix. They were apparitions of dead Time Lords. (TV: Hell Bent)

Ghosts of Buildworth Edit

In 2040, ghosts of people having conflicts manifested in Manda's rooms in a Buildworth domicile block. These included a man and his wife arguing, a mother abusing her son, and two male lovers fighting. She believed them to be the result of stress and fatigue affecting her mind until she received a note from the Seventh Doctor telling her that the ghosts were real. She eventually learned that the ghosts were being caused by a creature reliving the conflicts it had fed upon. (PROSE: Separation)

Ghosts of the Drum Edit

Prentis

The ghost of Albar Prentis. (TV: Under the Lake)

In the underwater base the Drum in 2119, a Tivolian ghost named Albar Prentis converted people into ghosts on the occasion of their death. (TV: Under the Lake) It was actually started by the Fisher King, who had originally killed Prentis in 1980. The Fisher King, an alien warlord would create the ghosts in an attempt to transmit Earth's coordinates to his race. Following the arrival of his race, the Fisher King would invade and destroy Earth. His plan was foiled by the Twelfth Doctor, who used a hologram of his own ghost to trick the Fisher King into thinking he'd won, only to be destroyed by the flooding of the Drum.

The ghosts included Albar Prentis, Jonathan Moran, Richard Pritchard and Alice O'Donnell, and they all seemingly dissipated after UNIT sent the Faraday cage in the Drum containing the ghosts into space and away from Earth's electromagnetic energy. (TV: Before the Flood)

Ghosts of the Northern Line Edit

The Mnemosyne present in the London Underground from 1903 to 2010 turned the psychic engrams of those who died in the Northern Line of the Underground into deadly, ghost-like servants with which to kill others to turn them into more servant engrams. The Mnemosyne's ghost-like engrams all perished when the Mnemosyne was destroyed. (COMIC: Ghosts of the Northern Line)

Victims of the Ghostmaker Edit

The Ghostmaker and Pearl collected the last breath of humans, taking a part of their lifeforce that manifested as ghosts. Victims included David and Faith Penn, Nettie Williams, a restaurant owner and couple with their children. All but the boy perished. (TV: From Out of the Rain)

Parapsychology and spiritualism Edit

Parapsychology was the study of psychic powers. (PROSE: Psi-ence Fiction) Ghost hunters used technology to try and prove the existence of ghosts. These technologies included the ACR 99821 (TV: Hide) and EMF readers. (PROSE: The Stone House) The Preternatural Research Bureau investigated cases of paranormal activity on Earth in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative, HOMEVID: When to Die)

Some spiritualists and clairvoyants, including Evadne Wintergreen, believed that it was possible to make contact with the dead using methods such as a séance. (AUDIO: The House of the Dead)

Scepticism Edit

Not everybody believed in ghosts. Sceptics included Sarah Jane Smith, (TV: Eye of the Gorgon) Clara Oswald (TV: The Snowmen) and - despite having written about them in his fictional works - Charles Dickens. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)

Mistakenly identified as ghosts Edit

Species Edit

The ghost of Harding Wellman haunted Miss Tremayne's finishing school, although the Fifth Doctor claimed that it was merely a being of pure energy who had taken on Wellman's memories and personality. (AUDIO: Winter for the Adept)

On the Moon, in 2070, Jamie McCrimmon thought a Mondasian Cyberman was a "piper phantom" of his own Scottish culture. (TV: The Moonbase) The Cybermen of Cybus Industries were once mistaken for an army of ghosts when crossing over from a parallel universe. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

Unquietdead

The Gelth were believed to be ghosts. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)

The Gelth were mistaken for ghosts, as their gaseous forms could fly and were a translucent blue, their physical forms having been destroyed during the Last Great Time War. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)

In Arcopolis, the Eyeless were mistaken for ghosts. (PROSE: The Eyeless)

The planet Kar-Charrat was rumoured to be haunted by phantoms, which turned out to be the native lifeforms' attempts to communicate with visitors. (AUDIO: The Genocide Machine)

Technology Edit

In 1890s London, the 51st century Magnus Greel employed the holographic technique to pretend the presence of a ghost guarding his lair under the Palace Theatre. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)

Space-time anomalies Edit

Sometimes, ghosts and hauntings were simply events of the past or future replaying themselves in the present. Sarah Jane once explained that events get recorded on their surroundings and under certain circumstances can get played back again, in what was known as the Stone Tape theory. (TV: Eye of the Gorgon) Similarly, the Eleventh Doctor explained that psychic residue was a cause of many ghost sightings. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)

When Sarah Jane was sent back to 1889 collect a fragment of Chronosteel, she encountered a ripple from the future, echoes of a traumatic moment that had yet to happen. Her actions helped to prevent the event from occurring. (TV: Lost in Time)

A nurse in 1918 St Teilo's Hospital thought that humans time shifting from 2008 were ghosts. (TV: To the Last Man)

The quantum transducer was an extradimensional artefact that amplified residual hauntings into empathic visions. These ghosts were explained as psychic residue from powerful emotional events. The transducer was dubbed the "Ghost Machine". (TV: Ghost Machine)

The planet Arkheon was thought to be inhabited by ghosts after its destruction during the early stages of the Second Dalek War, earning it the name "Planet of Ghosts". This was in fact the Arkheon Threshold - a time rift projecting echoes onto the planet from other time periods - as explained by the Tenth Doctor, who claimed there was no such thing as ghosts. He sealed the rift after the war. (PROSE: Prisoner of the Daleks)

The First Doctor himself was once mistaken for a ghost when an error made while he was fine-tuning the TARDIS sent him adrift through time. Between 1816 and 1890, he appeared a number of times in the restaurant of a hotel in India. The hotel's manager, Suresh Parekh, believed the Doctor to be cursing the guests as those the Doctor interacted with while he was present died shortly after. The Doctor was able to explain later, however, that it was moments in time in which a life was about to end that gave him a brief temporal stability, causing him to appear, and that he had nothing to do with the deaths. Susan eventually managed to retrieve the Doctor from the time stream. (PROSE: Indian Summer)

Similarly, both the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith were once mistaken for ghosts. (PROSE: The Ghosts of N-Space)

The Witch of the Well

Hila Tacorien manifested as a ghost. (TV: Hide)

Projections of events from other space-time locations could also be recorded as ghosts. The Caliburn Ghast, sometimes referred to as the Witch of the Well, was a ghost which haunted Caliburn House. The Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald discovered that it was in fact Hila Tacorien, a time traveller trapped within a pocket universe. (TV: Hide)

The woods around Fetch Priory were long believed to be haunted, the result of its being near a Relative Continuum Displacement Zone. This anomaly leaked images and other phenomena from light years away onto Earth. (TV: Image of the Fendahl)

The "ghosts" encountered at Ashen Hill Manor were actually people who had been trapped in-between the dimensions by Erasmus Darkening's malfunctioning equipment. (TV: The Eternity Trap)

Professor Alistair Gryffen's numerous failed attempts to retrieve his family with the Space-Time Manipulator eventually began to take their toll on the continuum, warping reality into the shapes of his wife and children. They functioned as de facto ghosts, needing to trade places with Jorjie Turner and Darius Pike to take physical form, even going so far as to restore the Professor to his default setting, as he was before he lost them. They were ultimately banished back into nothingness. (TV: The Fall of the House of Gryffen)

In the 2010s, Judy was warned to stay away from the Devil's Cairn by her brother because there were "ghosts in the hill". This was in fact due to the cairn being the location of portal between dimensions which had been buried in the 2nd century. (TV: The Eaters of Light)

Physical individuals Edit

Sir Reginald Styles claimed that a ghost (actually a time travelling guerrilla from the future) tried to kill him. (TV: Day of the Daleks)

When visiting the North Pole in a dream, Shona McCullough on first sight thought that the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald were the ghosts of "a skeleton man" and "a girl in a nightie". (TV: Last Christmas)

Cultural depictions Edit

On Earth Edit

Charles Dickens wrote about ghosts in his book A Christmas Carol and in his short story The Signal-Man. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)

On several occasions, the Doctor and his companions referenced the film Ghostbusters when visiting locations known for paranormal activity. (TV: Hide, TV: Army of Ghosts)

Television shows about ghosts included Ghostwatch (TV: Army of Ghosts) and Most Haunted. (PROSE: The Stone House)

References Edit

Clara Oswald once said that didn’t believe in ghosts. (TV: The Snowmen) When visiting the end of the universe, in conversation with the Eleventh Doctor, she commented "we're all ghosts to you", in reference to the fact that she, and the rest of his companions, would have died billions of years prior. (TV: Hide)

Grant Gordon used the alias "the Ghost" after he gained superpowers, including invincibility and the ability to fly. (TV: The Return of Doctor Mysterio)

Behind the scenes Edit

Several ghosts of the Drum are used as enemies in the Doctor Who: Legacy mobile game.

External links Edit

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